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La revue soGaz #5

Contributing to the development of the regions

With more than 32,000 km of pipelines, GRTgaz covers most of France.

Our activities and our projects help to guarantee the energy security of the regions and have significant economic impacts. The relations we have established with the regions also nurture projects designed to develop the use of sustainable energies.

Guaranteeing the energy security of the regions

GRTgaz reliably transports gas to consumers when and where they need it by making new transport capacities available.

The Arc de Dierrey project, which consisted of building a natural gas transport pipeline between Cuvilly and Voisines, France, came on stream at the end of 2016 to meet the increasing needs for gas transit created by the construction of the Dunkirk methane terminal and to make flows more fluid in the northern part of our network. It also increased the network’s transport capacity by optimising the existing infrastructures and avoiding the need for the construction of new compression stations.

The Val de Saône programme, due to come on stream in 2018, entails the construction of a new 188-kilometre natural gas transport pipeline between Voisines and Etrez, France, the creation of an interconnection station, the reinforcement of the existing compression station on the Etrez site and the refurbishment of the existing interconnection stations at Voisines and Palleau.

The goal of this programme is to develop the transport capacities required for the construction of a single wholesale gas market in France by 2018 and to offer easier access to the most competitive sources of gas for consumers at all times. On a European scale, it will make for more fluid transit between the markets in northern and southern Europe and reinforce the security of procurement.

Taking part in regional economic development

We involve local and regional companies and job-seekers in our construction projects. We work with Chambers of Commerce and Industry, employment offices and training and professional integration organisations. As an employer in almost every part of the country, GRTgaz has entered partnerships with numerous engineering schools and several training centres for industrial apprentices. When we reply to a request for proposal, we try to join forces with local companies in the region, for example for the servicing and maintenance of our facilities.

For example, as part of the construction of the new methane terminal in Dunkirk, the 23 km of tubes making up the so-called “Flanders Artery” were produced by three local companies: one for the rolling of the heavy plates, one for the production of the tubes and another for the coating that protects the tubes against corrosion. Almost 250 regional companies have taken part in the major projects in the Hauts-de-France regionworth an estimated €45 million for the local economy.

Rising to the challenge of the energy transition in the regions

In order to better meet the demands of regional players and to offer them effective support, in particular with their energy planning activities (regional plans for economic development, waste plans, biomass plans, regional climate, air and energy plans, regional plans for sustainable development) we have set up four regional delegations. Our delegates are the preferred points of contact to promote the benefits of fuel and vehicle gas in a renewed regional energy system, where the development of renewable energies will be optimised.

The energy transition is at the heart of our common concerns. This is the reason why we invite producers of biomethane to connect to our network. By way of example, the biomethane produced by the treatment of local household waste in the SMET 71 plant, is injected into the GRTgaz transport network in Chagny, in the Saône-et-Loire department. We are also contributing to the creation of the right conditions for the development of  Power to Gas, we are showing our commitment to sustainable mobility by contributing to the creation of a network of public stations for NGVs (250 by 2020), and we are setting an example through the renewal of our own vehicle fleet.

By entering a partnership with the Association of French Regions in September 2016 for 2016-2018, we demonstrated our will to make our network and our skills and know-how work for the energy transition of our regions. We can provide the Association with our knowledge of the energy markets and our expertise in energy systems. In this way, we can establish a dialogue and develop good practices together.